Wang, L., S. P. Good, and K. K. Caylor (2014), Global synthesis of vegetation control on evapotranspiration partitioning, Geophysical Research Letters, 41, doi:10.1002/2014GL061439.
Evapotranspiration (ET) is an important component of the global hydrological cycle. However, to what extent transpiration ratios (T/ET) are controlled by vegetation and the mechanisms of global-scale T/ET variations are not clear. We synthesized all the published papers that measured at least two of the three components (E, T, and ET) and leaf area index (LAI) simultaneously. Nonlinear relationships between T/ET and LAI were identified for both the overall data set and agricultural or natural data subsets. Large variations in T/ET occurred across all LAI ranges with wider variability at lower LAI. For a given LAI, higher T/ET was observed during later vegetation growing stage within a season. We developed a function relating T/ET to the growing stage relative to the timing of peak LAI. LAI and growing stage collectively explained 43% of the variations in the global T/ET data set, providing a new way to interpret and model global T/ET variability.